By Kent Larsen
California Power Woes Lead Oakland Temple To Turn-off Lights
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- The two-decade old tradition of decorating the
Oakland Temple with lights has been limited this year because of problems
with electrical power availability in California. Officials at the Temple
have decided to only light the building from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night,
several hours less than they have lighted the building in previous years.
The power problems have led to spikes in demand, which have increased power
costs to electric companies, and may have led to brownouts had measures not
Officials with California's Independent System Operator, the statewide power
distributor, have asked residents not to turn on Christmas lights until 7pm
each night, after the end of the peak usage hours of 4 to 7 p.m. Officials
at Oakland's Temple Hill say they are trying to do their part, "We are
trying to save about three or four hours worth of electricity each night,"
said LDS Church spokesman Blair Egli. "We are concerned about doing the
right thing and being good citizens while not being the Grinch."
Ironically, the problems may have helped one power company, AES, which is
run by Mormon Roger Sant. AES' Alamitos LLC unit was able to resume
operating in spite of emission violations because of the electricity
shortage, and the company then announced December 14th that the Alamitos
unit had settled the emission violations with the South Coast Air Quality
Management District, paying a $17 million fine and agreeing to install
catalytic reduction devises on four units at its California facility.
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